Corruption, A “war that cannot be won in Nigeria”

Nigeria’s Civil Servants Took $3B Bribe Last Year, Says TI

Saturday, 05 November 2011 00:00 From Laolu Akande, New York News National

AGAIN, Nigeria’s corruption rating has taken a leap for the worse as Transparency International (TI) has said that Nigerian civil servants alone took bribes worth over N450 billion ($3b) in the last one year.

The TI report on Bribe Payers Index for this year released just in time for the G20 summit also assessed 28 countries and territories including most of the G20 countries excluding Nigeria, from its annual Bribe Payers index.

Although Nigeria was not included in the countries selected for review this year, the TI however conducted additional studies of corrupt behaviours in public and private sectors in the world, where Nigeria’s civil servants were mentioned.

According to the studies of corrupt behaviours in various public and private sectors of the economy done by the TI, it was confirmed that “previous findings showed that bribery is particularly widespread in the construction, energy and extractive industries, “ according to Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international broadcaster that produces television, radio and online content in 30 languages, which reported the study this week.

According to the publication, in Nigeria, which is one of the countries with dominant extractive industries, “corrupt civil servants in oil-rich Nigeria pocketed some $3.2 billion (2.3b euros) in bribes in the 2010/11 financial year alone.”

Essentially, the TI Briber Payers Index this year focused on Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States.

The reports said: “Inter-company corruption is as popular as the practice of offering bribes to civil servants,” adding that this year’s “findings indicate that corruption is not only a problem of the public sector but also of private companies because it exposes them to financial and reputational risks.”

The Briber Payers Index, BPI, released by the TI, global NGO on corruption earlier in the week ranks the likelihood of companies from 28 leading export countries and territories to bribe abroad and measures the perceived propensity of firms from 19 business sectors to engage in corrupt practices.

It scores and ranks countries on a scale of 0 to 10, where a maximum score of 10 corresponds with a view that companies from that country never engage in bribery when doing business abroad.

Leaders of international companies confess that they keep offering bribes to public officials to win public procurement contracts, sidestep regulatory regimes, fast-track managerial processes or secure influence over decision making.

In its concluding observations, TI urges both governments and companies to take steps to ensure effective implementation of anti-bribery policies and procedures.



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